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St. Luke's Celebrates 'Night of Heroes'
October 06, 2023

First Responders and Trauma Team Honored

The dramatic stories of two trauma patients were featured Saturday evening at the annual St. Luke’s Night of Heroes celebration, which honored the more than 100 caregiver heroes who helped make their recoveries possible.

For two decades, St. Luke’s has honored caregivers at Night of Heroes, celebrating those who every day dedicate themselves to saving lives. Each year two patients’ families tell their stories through a video presentation, and members of the trauma team who touched these patients’ lives are recognized and honored for their skill and dedication.

St. Luke’s, which operates the largest network of trauma centers in Pennsylvania, hosted the event, with 1,000-plus guests at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, for the first time since the onset of Covid.

The following prestigious awards were announced live:

  • Martin Cohen Trauma Humanitarian Award – Monica Johnson, LSW
  • Dr. Charles D. Saunders Dedication to Trauma Award – Charles “Joe” Nitzchle
  • William "Billy" Guth Trauma EMS Award – Peggy Hissim, EMT
  • Stephan F. Balshi Innovation & Quality Award – Tracy Samson, RN, CEN, MSN, PhD

Listed below are the 2023 Heroes Award recipients:

Suburban Emergency Medical Services

Jeremy Slack

Stephen Montiero-Brown

Rich Mick

Chris Finan

Palmer Municipal Fire Department

Ken Sobieski

Jim Alercia

Stephen Gallagher

Michael August

Marc Crisafulli

Tom DeGenaro

Emilio DeNisi

Matthew Fredericks

Joe Fulse

Ryan Gerrity

Jim Hans

Matthew Lambert

Andrew Rossi

Keith Soltis

Phil Swass

John Zwally

Palmer Township Police

John Billard

Evan Goldstein

Maurice Burton

Kyle Kromer

Northampton County Emergency Management Services

St. Luke’s Emergency Transport Services

Charles Barker

Erin McNeeley

Brett Wimmer

Temple Medflight

Kelly Elliot

Eric Tuttle

Haycock Fire Co. No. 1

Richard Babb

Ransome Shoup

Robert Pomante

Jon Egner

Calvin Trovinger

Quakertown Fire Co. #1

David Erwin

David Reinhart

Dalton Seifert

Russel Yerger

Jim Mindler

Kyle Koch

Tristen O’Brien

Joe Lennon

Jason Haring

Ashley Evans

Pennsylvania State Police

Michael Rogers

Corey James

Kevin Jiras

Robert Eck

Colin Allard

Kyle Yeager

Bucks County Radio

St. Luke’s

Natalie Akers, MD

Roslyn Alexander, DO

William Anthony, MSW, LSW

Mary Batka, RN

Erin M. Bendas, DO

Sarah Blum, PA-C

Juliann Bond, RN, CCRN

Patrick Brogle, MD

Sarah Bussen, RN

Julia Chen, PA-C

Tasha Lee Collazo, RN

Jamie M. Collo, BSN, RN

Michele Davis

Ashley de Padua, MD

Theresa DeFebo, RT(R)(VI)

Holly Drew, RD, CNSC, LDN

Edgar Fernandez, RT(R)

George Fischer, PT, DPT

Dawn Fleming, RN, CNOR

Daria Gage, R.T. (R)(CT)

Emily Garey, MSN, MBA, RN, TCRN

Jacalyn Garzillo, MS, OTR/L

Jamie Gerhard, CST

Michelle Gormley, PT, DPT

Baher Habib, R.T. (R)

Corey Hicks, PA-C

Doojin Hong, RT

Lindsay Hughes, PA-C

Lee S. Hwang, MD

Natasha Ireifej, PA-C

Cameron Jacobs, DO

Caryn Janetzko, OTR/L

Holli M. Johnson, R.T. (R)

Mehrukh Khan, RN

Linda Koziel, RN

Maria Kushner, M.S. CCC-SLP

Leilani Lavin, CRNA

Margo Lightman, PA-C

Marney Lorah, PT, DPT

Douglas W. Lundy, MD

Ajith Malige, MD

Michele Mathews, RN, BSN

Kent McCann, MD

Kristine McGorry, MSW

Scott W. Melanson, MD

Brenna Mertz, RN

Kristen Mertz, CST

Alyssia Miller, R.T. (R)(CT)

Koren Miller, Radiology Technologist

Gregory Mondragon, RN

Hugh D. Moulding, MD, PhD

Abigail Moyer, R.T. (R)(CT)

Michael Neuwirth, MD

Jane Newton, CRNA

Ajsha Nikocevic, MT BB (ASCP)

Cynthia Okoduwa, MD

Casey Pollock, CST

Trudi Proverbs, PCA

Barbara Puzzella, RN

Allison Reichard, R.T. (R)(CT)

Michele Reinert, MS

Leah Rivard, MD

Veronica Rodriguez, RN

James Sacco, MSPT, DO

Lauren Sagrati, M.S. CCC-SLP

Kathy Sahaydak, R.T.(CT)

Deborah Samuels

Alec Schoenberger, MD

Geoffrey T. Scott, DO

Ian Sell, COF

Brendan Smith, MD

Rhay John Sotelo, RN

Charlene Stackhouse, RN

Marissa Steigerwalt, RN

Brittany Stokes, MOT, ORT/L

Stephanie Tencza, R.T.(R)

Kiana Thomas, ED Tech

Angelique Troisi, CRNA

Melanie Turock, DO

Jacqueline Weikert, RT(R)(VI)

Nathan White, MD

Melanie A. Wrecsics, RN

Matthew Yoder, MD

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 18,000 employees providing services at 14 campuses and 300+ outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue of $3.2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties in two states: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. St. Luke’s hospitals operate the biggest network of trauma centers in Pennsylvania.

Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, the Network established the Lehigh Valley’s first and only four-year medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 45 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with more than 400 residents and fellows. In 2022, St. Luke’s, a member of the Children’s Hospital Association, opened the Lehigh Valley’s first and only free-standing facility dedicated entirely to kids.

SLUHN is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system to earn Medicare’s five-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  It is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  The Network’s flagship University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from Fortune/Merative 10 times total and eight years in a row, including in 2022 when it was identified as THE #2 TEACHING HOSPITAL IN THE COUNTRY.  In 2021, St. Luke’s was identified as one of the 15 Top Health Systems nationally.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  The Network is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.